How can you save money when traveling to China with an iPhone?

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I learned how expensive it is to use my Iphone in China, the hard way!

When I landed at Beijing airport and turned on my iPhone, the first text message popped up:

“AT&T Free Msg: International data rate of $19.97/MB applies. Unlimited domestic data rate plan does NOT apply in this location.”

I thought to myself, well, I am just checking a couple of emails and I don’t usually open those attachments, so how expensive can that be? So, I stupidly kept the roaming function ON for just the next 3 days. The usage charge for that month, which used to average a few cents every month, came to $350.

So, when in China. turn off your iPhone data roaming function. Here’s a summary of what to do with your iPhone when traveling to China:

Turn Data Roaming “OFF”: Be sure to download and install the latest version of iPhone software from iTunes. By default, this setting for international data roaming will be in the “OFF” position.
To turn data roaming “ON/OFF” tap on Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming

Utilize Wi-Fi Instead of 3G/GPRS/EDGE: Wi-Fi is available in many international airports, hotels and restaurants to browse the web or check email.

Turn Fetch New Data “OFF”: Check email and sync contacts and calendars manually instead of having the data pushed to your iPhone automatically. This way you can control the flow of data coming to your iPhone.

To turn off the Auto-Check functionality tap on Settings>Fetch New Data, change Push to “OFF” and Select to Fetch Manually

Consider Purchasing an International Data Package: Purchasing an international data package can significantly reduce the cost of using data abroad. AT&T now offers four discount international data packages. The 20 MB package is $24.99 per month, the 50 MB package is $59.99 per month, 100 MB package is $119.99 per month, and the 200 MB package is $199.99 per month. See for details and international roaming rates.

Reset the Usage Tracker to Zero: When you arrive overseas access the usage tracker in the general settings menu & select reset statistics. This will enable you to track your estimated data usage.
To reset Usage Tracker to Zero tap on Settings>General>Usage>Reset

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